What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Grand Seiko? Well, if you’re like most watch collectors out there, you’re probably wondering why the brand is so awesome. Yes, Grand Seiko is one of the many luxury watch brands that has been disrupting the industry for years. And of course, we figured that it’s only normal for us to let you in why Grand Seiko stands out even in the midst of other big brands.
In this article, we’re going to explore up to three key factors that make Grand Seiko a must-have for avid watch collectors. So check out why a whole lot of collectors love this brand. Trust us, you’re sure to fall in love too (that’s if you haven’t already). Let’s dive in!
1: Grand Seiko History
First off, Grand Seiko has a rich history that you’ll certainly want to check out. Now, for most watch lovers, GS may be seen as a newcomer in the luxury watch world and we can’t possibly blame them for that. Yes, the brand actually entered the US market a few years ago and started making waves in English-speaking countries thereafter.
It’s however important to note that Grand Seiko has been here since 1881. Yes, Seiko has always been committed to creating premium quality timepieces, but unfortunately, they weren’t regarded as one of the big players in the industry. As time went by, Seiko decided to give one of their major divisions (Suwa) the responsibility of creating a Grand Seiko. Of course, their goal was to make the original model (Grand Seiko) the most outstanding wristwatch that they were able to produce at that point in time.
Moving forward, at this time, the Grand Seiko was not seen as a collection — it was actually considered a model. Yes, the Seiko’s classic three hand, no date, manual wind watch went mainstream. But of course, it didn’t stop there — the brand’s success led to the birth of many more models including watches with automatic winding, dates and different frequencies.
It’s also worth noting that Seiko’s success gave them the chance to compete internationally. Essentially, the brand entered wristwatch movements into Neuchatel chronometer testing in 1964. For those who might not be aware, the Neuchatel observatory rate watches and give their corresponding rank in line with other movements in the competition. Of course, the ultimate goal is to know the brand that produced the most accurate timepieces.
Well, at this time, Grand Seiko’s results were far below expectations. But interestingly, they were able to do better — in 1967, Seiko’s movements moved from the 144th place into the top ten! That’s not all — GS also went ahead to compete in a Geneva competition that’s pretty similar to the Neuchatel chronometer trials. And the good thing is, this time, the brand performed excellently well. Yes, they won 4th place out of 10, making their movements to be the most accurate of all mechanical watch movements! All in all, Grand Seiko’s illustrious history is clearly one of the reasons why we and other watch collectors can’t get enough of their incredible pieces.
2: Grand Seiko Movements
Another thing that sets Grand Seiko apart from the crowd is the accuracy of their watches. The not-so-best Grand Seiko has better accuracy rating than many other watch brands on the market. Even a watch collector with little to no knowledge about the brand’s movements can take the plunge and end up with an incredibly accurate watch.
Essentially, Grand Seiko has done its best to stay true to their heritage while making great changes to the technology of their movements. Speaking of which, the spring drive is one movement that expresses Grand Seiko’s impressive philosophy. This revolutionary movement basically integrates the fine finishing and assembly of a mechanical GS from the 1960s with a state-of-the-art high-tech tri-synchro regulator.
It’s clear to see that Grand Seiko basically fuses the old with the new thus creating battery-less, fully mechanical movement. That movement stores all its energy in a mainspring. That’ll boast an accuracy that exceeds most quartz watches. In a nutshell, with GS, collectors will get to have a combination of the beauty of a traditional watch and accuracy of a high tech one.
So, what’s the point? Well, it’s pretty simple — Grand Seiko’s watch movements are equal to none. There are still many other things to learn about them.
3: Grand Seiko Craftsmanship
The last but certainly not the least reason why love Grand Seiko is their incredible craftsmanship. In today’s luxury watch world, they’re one of the few brands that are a classic. They have stayed true to traditional watch polishing, assembly, and adjustment. Just about every part of a GS is polished with a Japanese technique known as “zaratsu.”
Now, if you’re familiar with Japanese history, you’ll relate when we say sword polishing was taken very seriously. Yes, contrary to what you thought, the entire process wasn’t done by the swordsmith alone. Instead, once the swordsmith is done with his job, he gives the blade to a “togishi” who polishes it to perfection. Why does this matter? Only because Grand Seiko zaratsu technique follows the exact same process.
Moving forward, you should be aware that brand’s models don’t just come with extremely fine finishing. First off, the job is actually and of course, entirely done by master watchmakers. And interestingly, the watchmakers adjust the timepieces in 6 positions to take better control of the effects of gravity. That’s a feature that’s known only to the best and most elite of watchmakers. Finally, and for what it’s worth, the testing and adjustment of a Grand Seiko take 17 days — a pretty amazing fact to keep in mind.
And that’s it! These are top 3 reasons why Grand Seiko watches are totally worth checking out. In the end it’s all up to you to get yourself a GS timepiece that you’re sure to treasure for years.